Friday, August 6, 2010
Researchers from the University of Kansas have found that a type of mountain rodent called the marmot (MAHR'-muht) is thriving because of climate change.
But the researchers say the benefits could be short lived because of changes in snow patterns.
The research was published recently in the journal Nature.
The university says the study is the first to reveal that changes in seasonal timing can increase a species' body weight and population at the same time.
The Kansas researchers began collecting information about the size and gender of yellow-bellied marmots in Colorado in 1962.
The work was intended as a foundation for other research and began before climate change emerged as a major issue. But years later, international researchers were able to use the fieldwork to underpin their analyses.